Typically, mourning doves initiate their egg-laying cycle from late March through September, with a notable peak occurring in late April or early May. This pattern, however, is subject to modification based on local climate and specific environmental conditions.
Mourning doves are pretty common across North America. You’ve probably heard their soft, sad-sounding coos that let us know warmer days are coming. We’re going to take a closer look at these cool birds, specifically when they lay eggs and how they go about raising their young.
When Do Mourning Doves Start Laying Eggs?
Starting in late February or early March, mourning doves get flirty, and this means their breeding season is on the way. They show off for each other with preening, billing, and those distinctive coos. After a while, they start laying eggs, usually around late April or early May.
Where they live and the weather can affect when exactly they start laying eggs. If it’s warmer, they might get started earlier. But if it’s still chilly, they might wait until things warm up a bit. So, as winter fades into spring, these birds get busy finding mates and getting their nests ready.
Egg-Laying and Nesting Habits of Mourning Doves
Mourning doves usually have two or three rounds of eggs each season. If it’s warmer where they live, they might even have up to six. They’re not into using nest boxes and prefer to build their nests in more natural places.
Each round, or brood, has two eggs. After the eggs are laid, mom and dad take turns keeping them warm for about two weeks until they hatch. The parents take care of the baby doves for another two weeks or so. Then the young doves take off and start living their own lives.
The Art of Nest-Building in Mourning Doves
Mourning dove nests aren’t exactly architectural masterpieces. They’re kind of haphazard, made of twigs and grass stuck together. But they do the job and give the eggs and baby doves a safe place to stay.
Most of the time, these nests are in trees or shrubs, about 5 to 15 feet off the ground. But if they can’t find a good spot in a tree, they’re not above using a window ledge or a spot under the eaves of a house.
Mourning doves have some pretty cool habits when it comes to laying eggs and raising their young. As spring comes, they start their breeding season, and it goes on through the warmer part of the year. Their nests are simple, but they do the job. And both parents chip in to take care of the eggs and the baby doves. Knowing more about these birds gives us a better appreciation for how all different kinds of creatures live their lives.